Feeling bored, cooped up, or simply unable to tolerate their state's reasonable COVID restrictions, hordes of New York rich folk flocked to the Sunshine State this past year, joining their California tech-bro brethren for some subtropical good times.
Florida, they cooed, was paradise — a land of milk and honey where pandemic-fatigued visitors could do as they pleased with no pesky governor finger-wagging about masks and social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Cheaper housing! No state income tax! Florida, they speculated, just might be the next Silicon Valley. It could be Wall Street South.
Of course, it's easy to fall in love with Florida when hurricane season has ended and a glorious winter has begun. But now, as temperatures rise, vaccines proliferate, and the promise of a return to normalcy beckons, Bloomberg reports our New York transplants are already reverting to an Empire State of Mind. Yesterday, the news outlet published a story foretelling a mass exodus.
"The main problem with moving to Florida is that you have to live in Florida," one especially perceptive hedge-fund manager told Bloomberg. "New York has the smartest, most driven people, the best culture, the best restaurants and the best theaters.... Anyone moving to Florida to save a little money loses out on all of that."
As New Times has pointed out ad nauseam, New Yorkers have been saying this sort of stuff about Florida — and particularly Miami — for literally years. To a certain type of visitor, Miami seems to be a good enough playground for vice and excess until summer arrives abruptly in March, and then suddenly it's a cultureless wasteland again.
Naturally, Bloomberg got the hate clicks it was probably looking for, inspiring several Florida journalists and other defenders of the southernmost state to ask, quite simply: Who hurt you, New York?
If you feel this way about Florida in March you don’t deserve to live there in January— Hannah Sampson (@hannahbsampson) March 10, 2021
The worst part of living in New York is that you have to live in New York.— Lawrence Mower (@lmower3) March 10, 2021
I'd take Florida any day. It's much easier living if you're not a multi-millionaire. https://t.co/wjWXfGFPNj
And, no, Miami is not a "tech hub." That's an empty tourism slogan; a real estate hustle like everything else in Boondoggle, FL. Our economy is a facade, relying solely on new money while the government neglects/defrauds current residents and businesses — i.e. a Ponzi scheme.— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) March 10, 2021
As Miami entrepreneur and New Tropic cofounder Rebekah Monson pointed out in a Twitter thread last month, those who haven't found culture in South Florida simply aren't looking for it. But hey — good luck with the move back to New York, hedge-fund managers. We'll keep Florida warm for you until your return in December.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.